Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2005)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother Special Edition)
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Connections: Harry Potter

Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year, where the Triwizard Tournament is soon due to begin. Students must be over seventeen to enter, with the winner receiving eternal glory. Harry can't enter it this year, or can he. When his name is read out from the Goblet of Fire, everyone assumes that Harry has cheated. Harry insists that he never placed his name in there, with someone else behind it. But who? Harry must now survive through dragons, sea creatures and a terrifying maze, all before coming face-to-face with a particular dark wizard. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 21, 2005
There is little to no debate that the "Harry Potter" franchise is the most popular literary and cinematic franchise in the world right now, and it will likely be so for a long while, even after Harry has cast his last spell and Lord Voldemort has been vanquished. The big problem with the films has been getting them cranked out before the cast members graduated college. "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" is the fourth film in the saga, and it finds Harry and the gang at the tender age of fourteen, though they are a couple of years older in actuality. This is not the Harry Potter that Chris Columbus gave us back in 2001 and 2002 - this film is fresh out of those cutesy moments that Columbus does so well. Director Mike Newell is now at the helm, having directed lightweight romances like "Four Weddings & A Funeral" and intense dramas like "Donnie Brasco". His range works well for this film, as Newell finds a delicate balance with this film that has not been present in any of the others. This is the "Harry Potter" films that has been a long time coming - a gripping, exciting, and dramatic entry that could finally give the franchise some Oscar shots. This is definitely the "The Empire Strikes Back" of the series, and it is a wonder to behold.

This fourth installment opens with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and the Weasley family attending the Quidditch Cup, when they are suddenly and unexpectedly interrupted by Death Eaters, signaling that Lord Voldemort might be closer to returning than anyone thought. Enough with the grim stuff. The next two hours of the film deals solely with the Tri-Wizard Tournament, which is being hosted by Hogwarts. Three wizards from three different schools are selected to compete in three tasks that will give one of them eternal glory. Everyone is stunned when the Goblet of Fire selects four contestants, instead of three, with the fourth being Harry Potter, of course, who is technically too young to enter. The first task involves dragons, the second task involves mermen, and the third a very tricky and very interesting maze that seems to have a mind of its own. Throughout the film, we are also delivered a plethora of side stories. We see the boys and girls of Hogwarts shaking in their shoes as they prepare for their first dance; we see the introduction of a new faculty member, Alastor 'Mad Eye' Moody (Brendan Gleeson); we see events slowly falling into place to prepare for the resurrection of the Dark Lord Voldemort. With around fifteen minutes left in the film, we finally see what all of the signs have been pointing to, and we finally see Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in the flesh. Believe it or not, it was certainly worth the wait. "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" does not sell the book short in the slightest - it covers everything it needs to cover, and with a running time of close to three hours, it never manages to send us a single dull moment.

This is "Harry Potter" for a more adult audience. I am not saying to keep the kids at home, because this is still a kid's film, but there is no reason why any adult should not be able to watch this film and thoroughly enjoy it along with their children. Harry and the gang are all grown up here. They are put into adult situations, given adult choices, and asked to face adult problems. They are all at the age when sex is first and foremost on their minds, and Mike Newell explores that and he adds some interesting fire to the chemistry of these actors. We more easily see the sexual attraction that the kids have for one another; we more easily see who likes who and who doesn't. It was nice to watch a "Harry Potter" film that felt more like I was watching an episode of "Everwood". With this film, Mike Newell hits us with 75% pleasantries, and 25% of the darkest and most sinister images you could imagine in a "Harry Potter" film. That third act comes out of nowhere and just beats us over the head. I was amazed at how well Newell and the cast managed to weigh the drama at the end of the film, with the death and the emergence of Voldemort. They all did a superb job, and that third act alone was enough to make this the finest entry into the series.

As for the cast, they certainly have grown up. Luckily, they still have their talents and wits about them. Daniel Radcliffe is charming, as always, as Harry Potter, as are his cohorts Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. All three have a natural chemistry and evident friendship, which I suppose comes from working together for so long. Brendan Gleeson adds some most enjoyable energy and zest as Mad-Eye Moody, and I can safely say he was the only choice for this role. As Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes chews up every line with the same kind of sinister satisfaction that he had in "Red Dragon" and "Schindler's List" - he really does know how to make a really good villain. The rest of the cast does exactly what they have always done - they support to perfection. Michael Gambon (now having played Dumbledore as many times as the late Richard Harris), Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, and Alan Rickman are seminal parts of the ensemble now, and they all get just enough time to keep their characters fresh in our minds for the next installment when their roles will likely be enlarged slightly. This cast had a blast with this film, and that is evident while watching.

"Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" is the best entry of the series and one of the most enjoyable films of the year, or any year. Maybe the Academy will finally recognize this series with some nominations, and this would certainly be the year to do it. Harry has to face every range of emotion here, from awkwardness to desire to loss to fear - and he does so admirably well. As mentioned earlier, this is not the Chris Columbus version of the series - this is uniquely Mike Newell. It is darker, meaner, and sometimes absolutely sinister. We don't get that sense at the end of the film that everything is going to be all right, because we know it is not. We know that Voldemort is back and we know what that means for everyone involved. So, when Harry tells Hermione that, "No, things are not going to be the same", we know exactly what he means. I loved this film. I am not a huge fan of the books, but I have enjoyed all of the films. "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" is a wonderful continuation and a sure sign that this series has a lot of fire left in its belly.

Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 11/07/2010, 09:17 PM
Oh my garsh this was amazing1!!111!1! I like the Harry Potter movies, but I doubt I would have watched them if my wife wasn't a huge fan. 9/10
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